“You Have Arrived!” will surely fit the forthcoming new owners of the historic landmarked Tuscan-inspired Palm Beach VIlla Leoncini estate and it’s 3-story entrance tower. Designed by Palm Beach Architect Howard Major in 1926, the style is Tuscan Italian Renaissance, borrowed from a Lake Como villa. It was first named La Torre Bianca (“The White Tower”)and has a U-shaped floor plan with rooms wrapping around a patio, providing an easy flow from room to room and outdoors. The now deceased owner was a founding member of the Horticulture Society of South Florida, and transformed the grounds into a lush paradise. There are 300 varieties of orchids. Drive down to the motor court and front door, set with cast-stone quoins arched around the door and flanked by two griffin statues, sitting as sentries. Inside the entry are twin doorways with linen-fold caring and the original black-and-white marble tile floor set on the diagonal. There are French doors crowned by fan windows with beautiful views of the courtyard, patios and pool. The formal living room features floor to ceiling pecky cypress paneling and picture molding, built-in bookcases, a wood burning fireplace and a delicate antique marble mantel. The floor is Cuban tile. The dining room with emaed ceiling, features antique Portuguese blue and while tile pictures on the walls, copies of a room in the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen. The separate guesthouse has two bedrooms, 2 baths, kitchen and laundry facilities. Come see… and buy! Live with history.
WHILE THESE ARE NOT (YET) HISTORIC HOMES, COME AND SEE A VARIETY OF BEAUTIFUL BOCA RATON HOUSES... if you MISSED THE TOUR, Marilyn will be happy to show you ANY OF THESE HOMES!
ORDER OF PHOTOS: B, A, 1, E, C
Accompanying friends who were house hunting and with no intention of buying, Ross Meltzer and Tom Samet, Interior Decorators in East Hampton, fell in love with “Doubledog” at first sight. Atop the two piers flanking the entrance gate sit a pair of dog statues, which gave the house it’s name. Having occupied 14 homes over the years, moving is a habit for these fellows. Now they are spending more time in East Hampton, so have put the historic 4 bedroom, 4 ½ bath home and guest cottage up for sale at $2.75MM. Furnishings are available separately. This home is Samet’s favorite of the bunch, “incredibly private and it faces southeast, so all day it’s bright… it’s also on a slight hill so we have the views and a breeze.” He further describes it as “old-timey.” The National Register of Historic Places and the City of West Palm Beach list the house as a historic home. Previous owners have maintained the home and its original design with no major alterations, although five years ago the kitchen was extended fifteen feet.. Some features include many French doors, windows opening to 3000 sq ft of wraparound terraces on three sides, a Chicago-brick driveway on the fourth side. There is a Santa Barbara fell to the house, with tall, mature hedges and fountains. The house also has oak and poplar floors, more northern-like. Mizner reminders include the mantel in the living room, pecky cypress ceilings throughout the downstairs rooms, and the four antique wrought-iron gates in the garden. There is a charming 1920’s ear old fashioned telephone room with chaise. Colors are dramatic and include butterscotch with touches of Chinese red in the living room. There are intracoastal views through the many windows. The large garden has a dining gazebo, Geoergian-style pool and formal gardens with statuary. The kitchen features a Spanish-tile floor, custom cabinetry, a beamed ceiling, granite countertops, and top-of-the line appliances. A barrel-tile roof with eaves supported by corbels is a prominent feature of 265 Granada Road. The arched windows look out into the courtyard. The next owners will be charmed too… and love the sense of history that surrounds the house.
Culling the list of most expensive properties that are for sale from published property listings, high-end brokerages and conversations with real estate agents, here are updates us on the state of the high-end real estate market. Note that in Europe especially many estates and luxury markets are shopped privately for undisclosed prices. Financier Leonard Ross took his Beverly Hills Hearst Mansion listed for $165MM off the market, as did Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia with his $125MM Aspen Ski Lodge. But “our Donald,” Donald Trump, closed on the sale of his $100MM Maison de L’Amitie in Palm Beach, Florida to Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, having given away the largest single residence price concession of all time of $25MM. Trump bought the house for $41.4MM four years ago, so still made a nice profit. Two houses remain on the market right now for $125MM each. The “Fleur de Lys,” in Beverly Hills, CA, modeled after Louis XIV’s Versailles palace, with Versailles-style decor, is 45,000 sq ft. Built over 5 years, included are a 50-seat screening room and library filled with 1st Edition books. There is a 9-car garage, 12 bedrooms, and 15 bathrooms. This Holmby Hills estate is sandwiched between Beverly Hills and Bel Air. A Jacobean manor with interior features similar to Dunnellen Hall, the estate has features such as vaulted ceilings, travertine marble floors, bay windows, limestone walls and wood paneling and sprawls over 40 acres of rolling hills edged with tall trees, is 21,897 sq ft and has a 52-foot long indoor swimming pool.
Looking for a historic home to buy with original details? This circa 1928 2-story home, a short walk to Indian River, has been fully restored. Set on a half acre, it is high on a hill. There are 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 3200 sq ft. No HOA Fees. Remaining original details include hardpine floors, wood burning fireplace, formal living and dining rooms, original French Doors, wrought iron porch and balcony, 40’x15’ inground pool and gazebo. The house is in Riverside, a community established in 1923. No historical restrictions.
Henry Morrison Flagler’s personal rail car, built in 1886, is now on view, and you can walk through the new 8100 sq ft Pavilion at the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach to see it. The railway car, which he frequently lived in for short travel periods, has been restored to its original appearance, using records from the National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian, the Delaware State Archives and the Hagley Museum and Library in Delaware. See the salon, master bedroom and bath, guest quarters and kitchen. The car is called “A Palace on Wheels.” See the fine appointments, including the oak paneling and desk. Flagler traveled by this railcar in 1912 along the Overseas Railway to Key West to celebrate completion of the FEC Railway, a phenomenal engineering feat. This is the first public Beaux-Arts style building built in the US in 60 years. Its design is consistent with Whitehall, which was completed in 1902. The Museum’s Pavilion Café is also in the building. Flagler owned much of the land along both sides of the hundreds of miles of track, and has been called “Florida’s Godfather.” For more information, go to http://www.flaglermuseum.us/ or call 561-655-2833.
For the last 30-years, “Singing Pines” house has been the home of the Boca Raton Children’s Museum. Celebrations are scheduled for October, along with the first phase of expansion, and will feature a look back at Boca’s pioneer history, a display “for kids and about kids.” Located at 498 Crawford Boulevard, the museum will soon look like a village green. Author Diane Benedetto has written a book on what it was like to be a kid in the pioneer days and will be taking part. A Memorabilia Closet will hold toys and clothes from that era. Historic photos will be included, in particular on of the aftermath of a 1920’s hurricane where everything is devastated but “Singing Pines” remains standing. The house was built by William Myrick who purchased the property from Henry M. Flagler’s Model Land Company and the Myricks were one of 13 families who settled in Boca Raton in 1913. Phase II will be a high-tech house with a mini-Imax theatre and computer labs that give children an opportunity to create science projects, make films… and more. It will be named “The Voyager,” using designs from H.G. Wells and Jules Verne. Museum Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 12-4 pm. For more information call 561-368-6875.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: In August 2008, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov put Villa Leopold under contract for $750MM. In March 2010, he tried to back out of the deal and wanted his $50MM deposit back. Owner Lilly Safra went to court and they ruled in her favor and she was also awarded damages. Ms. Safra indicated she would be donating the money to charities.
In 1979, in an effort to save the Town of Palm Beach’s historic resources, the Town Council adopted a Historic Preservation Ordinance. (Palm Beach Code, Chapter 54, Historic Preservation, Section 54-36), to study and protect Palm Beach’s most significant architectural achievements, ensuring that the heritage of Palm Beach would not be lost for future generations.
The new owner of the 1960 house at 144 Wells Road wants to have the house demolished to make way for a British Colonial house. It was designed by acclaimed Mid-Century Modern architect Alfred Browning Parker, who was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. The demotion request was sent to the Architectural Review Commission and the Town Council, and brought outcries from preservationists who feel the property is an "architectural gem" as it is. The Commission is now considering giving the property a landmark designation, even though the Town Attorney has cautioned that i could leave the town open to a lawsuit. Parker has offered to renovate the property, but the owner indicated he is not interested.
The Commissioners are also studying the possibility of giving two other properties landmark designations. They are 958 North Lake Way, designed in the mid 1970's by Modernist architect Richard Meier, and 977 North Ocean Boulevard, a 1965 John Volk British Colonial.
The Historic Preservation Ordinance directs the appointment by the Town Council of a Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), comprised of seven members, six of whom must be Town of Palm Beach residents. The Commission meets monthly to identify significant structures, subject them to a set of objective criteria, and designate the most worthy as landmarks of the Town of Palm Beach. Properties are then proposed for designation. The staff studies the issue for later discussion at a public hearing. At the public hearing, the LPC votes on whether or not to recommend to the Town Council that the building under consideration be designated a Landmark of the Town of Palm Beach. The Landmarks Commission’s recommendation must then be ratified by the Town Council.
To be worthy of landmark status, a building must have an important historical association, or be an outstanding example of architectural design, or the significant work of a notable architect or master craftsman. The LPC also reviews changes and alterations to existing Landmark properties, issues Certificates of Appropriateness for work to be done, and oversees the Town’s Tax Abatement program. There are 246 properties, sites and vistas currently protected under the Historic preservation Ordinance of the Town of Palm Beach.
Dubbed “the most original and earliest remaining residential work of Palm Beach’s signature architect” by Historian Augustus C. Mayhew, this well-preserved 1919 Addison Mizner oceanfront Mediterranean villa on the island’s North End, recently came on the market for $30-MM. The multi-story 13,500 sq ft residence sits on a 1.5 acre tract with 150 feet of beach frontage. There are 10 bedrooms, 5 full and two half-baths, four fireplaces, a guest house, cabana, swimming pool, tennis court and three-car garage along with extensive gardens. Stairs and windows frame new spaces at each corner and there are beautiful ocean views. There are pecky cypress ceilings, original blue octagonal tile floors and walls in the upstairs master bedroom, and a “Scheherazade” stairway. Smaller in scale than some built during the mid-1920’s, it was landmarked in 1980, it is one of the less than 30 Mizner houses still standing on the island. The house has been owned for more than 50 years by descendants of Marie Louise Wanamaker Munn.
Villa des Cygnes – “House of Swans” – built in 1922, has been restored by Walter and Cathleen McFarlane Ross. The residence is stunning and significant. The view from across Lake Worth shows it’s prominent façade rising right from the water that laps at its foundation. Brick paved walkways and beautiful colorful tropical plantings abound. The formal living room features a fireplace with elaborately carved mantle and French-style chairs. Cathleen and her late husband, Norris McFarlane, bought the house in 1986 when it was in disrepair due to misguided renovations and neglect. There were 5 kitchens and 11 bathrooms. She hired Jeffrey W. Smith, AIA, who had studied Mizner’s work. Mizner was already acclaimed for his first Palm Beach commission, The Everglades Club’s building down the avenue, and then built this home and also the Venetian-style Casa de Leone, nearby. Catherine saw that walls were carefully taken down and fireplaces and skylights restored or replaced. Only one original Mizner room remains completely intact, a guest bathroom. During construction, a staircase that had been walled in during a previous renovation was discovered, and restored. The house has pecky-cypress paneling, Austrian paneling, French Doors, and many other Mizner-like features. History has been elegantly revived and magically transformed!
Located in the heart of historic downtown Delray Beach, and one mile from the fabulous beach at the end of Atlantic Avenue, the Sundy House is a boutique inn listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This secluded retreat is nestled within an acre of stunning tropical gardens. The Victorian inn’s 11 luxurious guest accommodations feature sumptuous décor and modern amenities. Sundy House hides within an acre overflowing with 500 tropical plant species. In every corner, you'll discover unique details: a bed suspended in air, a sunset painted on the ceiling, red-cork wallpaper, and blue suede walls. Swim with turtles and angelfish in the naturally filtered swimming pond. Venturing away from this self-contained wonderland only brings more pleasures, like snorkeling or windsurfing in the southern Atlantic, minutes away. Stay for Sundy's Sunday brunch, a lavish affair with everything from eggs Benedict made with Florida lobster to raspberry ham with mango cole slaw. Doubles from $175; 561-272-5678 Experience the award-winning Sundy House Restaurant, the elegant Roux Bamboux Lounge. Just 20 minutes from Palm Beach International Airport and one hour north of Miami, our superb location is easy to reach whether for business or pleasure. The Sundy House is mere steps from shopping, dining and cultural events, in a serene setting in which art, history and culture merge. Complimentary transportation to beach/downtown where life is GOOD and ACTIVE. Other awards include: The New York Post – “Florida’s Top 50 Hotels and Resorts;” Travel + Leisure – “Top 30 Inns in the U.S;” Palm Beach Post – “Best Brunch and Most Romantic Restaurant;” South Florida Parenting – “Best Romantic Getaway.”